Cumberland City Council in NSW, Australia, has reversed its controversial ban on a same-sex parenting book after an hours-long heated debate.

The decision followed global backlash, and the book, written by Holly Duhig, was reinstated in libraries.

The council initially banned the book, which covers content on same-sex parents, prompting the Mayor of Inner West Sydney to label the ban as “pathetic.” Labor councillor Kun Huang proposed a motion to move the book to the junior non-fiction section rather than banning it. After four hours of intense discussion and clashes between protestors outside, the motion passed 12-2.


During the debate, only two councillors continued to support the ban, while a third councillor, who initially backed the ban, changed his vote at the last moment. Over 200 people gathered outside the council chambers in Merrylands, New South Wales, rallying both for and against the decision. The demonstrations were organised by queer organisation Pride in Protest and NSW Young Greens, who opposed another group supporting the ban.

Opponents of the ban organised a live reading of the book, sharing it on Instagram Stories with the caption: “Reading the ‘big scary’ book that’s divided Western Sydney tonight outside the council meeting to overturn the ban.”

The book tackles complex topics such as step-parenting, death, and bullying in a way that is accessible to children. Despite its intent to educate, the inclusion of LGBTQ+ content led to its temporary removal from all libraries in the Cumberland City constituency.

Protestors chanted, “Together we stand, together we fight, we demand our equal rights,” and “One, two, three, four, get the bigots out the door; five, six, seven, eight, no one should discriminate,” as captured in a video filmed outside Cumberland Council.